Thursday, 26 April 2018

Chuckles Chat #62 Non Fiction

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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This week I'm taking a look at the kind of non fiction that we read. I've always had non fiction on my shelves as I liked to read about subjects that I found interesting. Through the years of course my interests have changed. As a kid I liked non fiction about dinosaurs, looking at all the different kinds and where in the world they were found. I still love my dinosaurs but I would like to find that one great encyclopedia that isn't aimed at kids for reference purposes that has maps, drawings and all about each species. Oh to have Alan Grant's books! 

By the time I was in secondary school and was loving History, I had developed an interest in WWI and WWII, an interest that has grown through the years. I'm now also interested in other wars such as Vietnam, the American Civil War, and I'd like to actually read something about the Korean War, which is quite relevant today. In more recent times, I have developed a fascination with The Tudors and the War of the Roses, thanks to discovering Philippa Gregory's books through friends so I have a few non fiction on these subjects that I'd like to get to at some point.

I guess to a certain extent I've always had an interest in politics too, since at school we studied the US election system and witnessed our own on the TV. My dad's side of the family were Labour mad but my mum was interested in the Liberal Democrats. I actually became more interested in politics than the whole family put together and tried to study it at college but didn't quite get the grades. I wanted to do politics and journalism and it sucks that I was one grade short of being accepted into the course. Still, I read a lot of political memoirs from MPs on all sides of the spectrum, including US politicians. I also love the behind the scenes of the political campaigns, seeing all the fighting and scandal!

When I started doing reading challenges in Goodreads groups, one of the tasks was to read a book with mountains and 'Into Thin Air' was recommended by a few friends. After reading that, I became addicted to mountain expedition books. The deadly conditions, the storms, the stunning scenery...something about it all just appealed to me and I started to devour a ton of books on the subject. I still have a lot of these unread on my shelves. I also read about natural and manmade disasters and terrorist attacks so I have a few books about 9/11 still to be looked at at along with air, sea and rail disasters. Just call me Cheerful Chuckles!

I do sometimes read the memoirs of people that interest me though a lot of times these books are hit and miss. I like an honest memoir where the person talks about the good and bad parts of their life, instead of missing out the bits they don't want to talk about. What is the point of that? Why write it in the first place! I've read books about favourite soap stars, sportsmen and women, those from favourite TV shows etc. I admit that my interest in this kind of non fiction isn't what it used to be as so many of the books aren't all that interesting or spend too much time on years and years of dull childhood, rather than what we know them for. I do still read the odd one though.

I also read books about the investigations into serial killers. I actually have an interest in that because of circumstances. A known serial killer called Peter Tobin lived in my town for a while and my mum saw him several times at the high rise building across the road from us. That gives you the shivers, knowing you were playing outside your home and he probably walked by you. A neighbour of ours had a son who was on a school debating team and a girl from an opposing school team in our area was murdered about 20 minutes from where I live. Another Scottish serial killer called Robert Black was in the area at the time, and of course Tobin lived not far from there at the time. Kind of makes you think. Her murder has never been solved but I believe one of them did it and I'm trying to research that online with little success.

Now my newest non fiction interest is in prepper books. I love reading about how to make a chemical toilet, use a pizza box as a solar oven, make meals using cans as a mini stove, building nuclear bomb shelters, food storage, disaster prepping, home security and a ton of other stuff. A lot of this I'm reading just for interest as the subject fascinates me and I'm certainly not constructing bomb shelters in my garden-I can't mess up my dad's patio! However some of the subjects are educational and could be useful skills to have should a crisis come along. I actually bought my first nuclear war non fiction book when I was about 11 so I've always been a person who wants to learn about scary stuff and give herself nightmares.

I do also like companion guides to TV that I like. I've got quite a few Stargate and Buffy guides from when I was mad fans of these series! I've got behind the scenes books about Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Recently, I'm hoovering up anything interesting connected to Game of Thrones. I've got the HBO guides, the houses of Westeros, GRRM history of Westeros (looking forward to the new ones, maybe even one this year!) I would like a book that goes more into the casting of the parts, actors being replaced, behind the scenes disputes etc so if you can recommend one, let me know!

The problem is time. I don't get as much reading time as I would like and I tend to devote that mostly to fiction for entertainment purposes. After a bad day, relaxing with Harry Potter or some zombies is how I like to chill out and it takes me longer to plough through a big non fiction book. Sometimes seeing a film can make me more interested in reading a book on the subject, just so I can learn more. I have a few of these to read on things like the Chile Mining Disaster and the Hatton Garden robbery.

What non fiction topics interest you? Or are you just a fiction person?

13 comments:

  1. We have a lot of similar interests when it comes to nonfiction. When I was a kid, I read a lot of animal books. Now I like Arctic exploration, wilderness survival, cults and serial killers, and history. I’m waiting for someone to write a book that explains Donald Trump to me. I’m so confused by that angry orange goblin.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I don't think there will ever be a book to explain Trump but at least there are plenty books bashing him to have fun with!

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  2. I am almost entirely a fiction reader. Every once in a while a non-fiction book will spark my interest and I will decide that I need to read it. I sometimes like to read financial books and last year I read Cannibalism. I used to read a lot of true crime books as well.

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    1. The big problem with true crime is that the books can be big or the content is heavy going. I can be really slow to get through them!

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  3. You have a pretty wide nonfiction library there. Must have been scary having Two serial killers so close. I'm shuddering!
    I like biographies and memoirs, particularly of people who aren't famous but found themselves in incredible situations. Today I blogged a review of Clemantine Wamariya's autobiography - she was a Rwandan refugee at age 6.
    I also like history books, especially ancient history, and books about people doing long distance walking or cycling treks. Free Country by George Mahood was the most recent and it's very funny.

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    1. It gives me the creeps! I don't remember seeing Tobin in our area but it was so long ago that I wouldn't remember. I think the stories of real people with shocking lives is more interesting than whiny celebrities!

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  4. I love non-fiction reads, but like you, I tend to mostly read fiction. It's that time issue; I never have enough time to read everything I want. But I've been trying to read at least one non-fiction book a month this year because I have this long list of titles that I really do want to read. (Into Thin Air is actually on that list!) :)

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    1. I think I need to try and read a non fiction every month so I can gradually plough through them. That's a really good idea!

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  5. I like historical nonfiction sometimes, and I couldn't agree more about Alan Grant! Also did you see that the new Westeros book about the Targaryens has been confirmed now for November?

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    1. Yeah I saw the news and I'm certainly going to buy it! Bit of a bummer about TWOW but not exactly unexpected I guess. Surely he must be nearly done with it!!!

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  6. You know I'm a big fan of non-fiction too, though my tastes range more towards pop science. Sometimes pop history, too, but I'm fairly eclectic about the period/area I'm reading about. Learning is just... fun!

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    1. I think some of the subjects you read are fascinating, especially disease and dinosaurs! Wish I had more time to look at stuff like that.

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  7. I've realized I enjoy memoirs! Especially about gender equality. Women overcoming prejudice and inequality

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